William Hill Brands Hit with Fines by Swedish Regulator

Evoke Gaming Ltd recently had to pay SEK 450,000 ($45,667) in fees, while Mr Green faced a fine of SEK 1,000,000 ($101,481). As per Swedish Law, gambling companies need to provide bi-yearly reports regarding their operations, something that the two William Hill brands ostensibly failed to accomplish.

During a hearing of the Court of Linköping, the fine was deemed ‘fair and proportionate’ as a punishment for violating the Swedish Money Laundering Act, compliance with which is a requirement for all betting establishments in the country.

According to Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gambling regulator, Mr Green and Evoke failed to report certain required information. This information can range from financial details to comprehensive data about their clients. Betting establishments in Sweden are required to collect ID documents and verify players’ addresses, IPs, and social security numbers.

The Licensees’ Excuses Did Not Convince the Gambling Inspectorate

The two William Hill brands stated that it had “not been technically possible” to submit certain information, but the regulator did not consider the lack of technical solutions as a valid excuse. Spelinspektionen also commented that these issues had been going on for a long time and that the licensees had submitted incorrect information on five separate instances.

“The companies have for a long time had shortcomings in their reporting and what has been reported has subsequently proved to be incorrect,” read Spelinspektionen’s report. The licensees explained that the mismatches resulted from “technical errors,” but this did not sway the regulator’s verdict. 

Spelinspektionen did note that the affected parties had taken steps to resolve these problems and added that there was “no indication that the infringement will be repeated.” Ultimately, it determined that even though the violations had gone on for a significant amount of time, they were not too serious. Thus, a fine was deemed to be a sufficient penalty.

The fines come after a strategic decision by William Hill to close three of its brands- EuroGrand, 21Nova, and William Hill Casino Club in a shift towards its US-based assets. The company’s interests outside of the US are currently being acquired by 888 Holdings plc, in a massive  £1,95 billion deal.

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